By Maggie Wehri on September 16, 2013

The office supply superstore allows customers to recycle multiple electronics at once with its innovative Tech Recycling Service.

After purchasing a new MacBook Pro or plasma-screen TV, consumers face the dilemma of what to do with their old or broken electronics. They often resort to throwing these products in the trash, which eventually ends up in the local landfill.

Office Depot recyclingOffering a resolution to this common problem, Office Depot created a recycling solution to reduce the large amounts of e-waste. Its Tech Recycling Service aids the accumulation of electronic waste, which contains toxins like lead and mercury that can potentially seep into the groundwater supplies.

Select Office Depot stores offer an option for consumers who wish to dispose of their e-waste in an environmentally safe way. Office Depot designed three different-sized recycling boxes: small ($5), medium ($10) and large ($15).

Each box is constructed from recycled cardboard and manufactured to hold heavy items. Customers may fill their box with as many acceptable electronics as possible and are instructed to return the box unsealed. Associates then check to ensure all items can be recycled and officially seal the box. UPS then ships this box to a special recycling facility. The items are crushed into reusable raw materials like glass, plastic, copper and aluminum.

Technology such as small TVs, VCRs, cell phones, keyboards, printers, digital cameras and other office electronics are considered acceptable items. However, Office Depot cannot recycle small kitchen appliances, like toasters, microwaves and fridges. Also of note: Office Depot claims that it is not legally permitted to ship items that have cracked monitors.

Office Depot asks customers to remove previous data from all of their old technology. Consumers must sign an agreement stating they are responsible for potential identity theft if data is not wiped properly. However, shipped recycling boxes are delivered directly to a recycling facility, making this issue unlikely to arise.

The Tech Recycling Service is particularly interesting because customers are charged by the box instead of by the item. This option allows customers a more affordable and safe way to recycle their old electronics by encouraging them to recycle multiple items at once. Office Depot’s alternative helps customers do the green thing, reducing large amounts of e-waste piling into landfills in the process.

About the author

Maggie is currently a third-year student at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree from the Fisher College of Business in sustainable enterprise management, a bachelor’s degree of fine arts from the Arts and Sciences College and an entrepreneurship minor. In her spare time, Maggie enjoys working on creative projects, and writing, designing and editing Fisher Ink Magazine, Fisher’s undergraduate business magazine.


Learn more about Maggie Wehri

Comments

There are no comments for this post yet


Articles by Maggie Wehri

The Case for Increasing Glass-Recycling Rates

By Maggie Wehri on September 9, 2014

Americans recycle just over one-quarter of the glass they use every year. That figure needs to rise.

Recycling Glass: Does Color Matter?

By Maggie Wehri on September 2, 2014

To separate or not to separate? That is the question when it comes to glass recycling.

Dell Establishing a Compostable Legacy

By Maggie Wehri on August 28, 2014

Instead of utilizing more carbon-intensive plastic, Dell's packaging solution was quite clear: Grow it.

Recycling Articles

How to Recycle Helium Tanks

By Sophia Bennett on September 18, 2014

If proper precautions are taken, empty helium tanks are highly recyclable.

How to Recycle Headphones

By Sophia Bennett on September 10, 2014

Headphones offer a complex recycling challenge, as they are typically comprised of a number of materials.

The Case for Increasing Glass-Recycling Rates

By Maggie Wehri on September 9, 2014

Americans recycle just over one-quarter of the glass they use every year. That figure needs to rise.

Current News

Recycling Profile: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

By 1-800-RECYCLING on September 18, 2014

"The Paris of the Prairies" offers curbside collection to all of its residents and pairs it with other waste-cutting programs to reduce landfilling dependence.

Electronic Recyclers International Congratulates Best Buy for E-Waste Recycling Efforts

By 1-800-RECYCLING on September 18, 2014

ERI leadership participates in landmark event at Best Buy's headquarters in Richfield, MN.

Recycling Profile: Austin, TX

By 1-800-RECYCLING on September 12, 2014

In the race toward zero waste, where does Austin stack up?

Loading